Monday, January 12, 2015

Hellgate - Leaked Prize Analysis

To start off, I've been asked to join in a Facebook group page - the Battle Pirates Crib.  We've got a good group to put together a lot of info - URF, BigBen, CarpeDiem , Huggy, Double, Bezza, and myself.  For my part, I'll be taking a little more info out of each blog article (usually the charts) into the group post.  I'm also getting a little bit of input from that group on my posts, which I think will improve things over here too (thanks already guys!).

I think we're going to try to cut through the chatter and just post good solid info... stay tuned.

Head on over to https://www.facebook.com/TheBattlePiratesCrib and give us a like to keep up.

On to the post...
The "Hellgate" raid is starting this Thursday, and the Reavers are back.

See Robot's tips and Tricks thread here: https://www.kixeye.com/forum/discussion/520874/p1

That post is worth reading for every raid - it includes some specific strengths and weaknesses of the various ship types we will be encountering.  It also recommends keeping your distance from Reaver ships (hopefully you knew that already).  Frostburn fields, Engine Disruptor fields, and Assault Disruptor cannons may all come into play.  I would be wary about trying to depend on Cryo Launcher fields - they might not build fast enough before the ship is on top of you.

Over at the Unofficial BP Info blog, they have analyzed new data files from the game and published preliminary stats on the prizes.  The following analysis is based on that unofficial data.

(UPDATE 1/13 @5:45 PM)) - the Magma Thrower was brought back down to earth in the latest update - build time is now around 21 hours, and damage was reduced by about 20%.  This doesn't make the weapon suck, but it perhaps moves it out of the "good value" category.  The Hellhound stats were also tweaked a little - speed reduction from 14 to 13 is the most important change. Charts below are updated) 

There have been two new prizes announced - the Hellhound hull and the Magma Thrower weapon.

Hellhound Hull:
This new Reaver hull seems very powerful, but it also has a long build time to match.  It has a damage bonus for the new thrower weapon type, but it could also be a capable hull with other forms of armament.  The only hulls that I thought were comparable were the other Reaver hulls:

StatisticHellhoundBerserker R5Hellstrike R10
Weapon Slots997
Armor Slots666
Special Slots444
Max Weight7,9969,07512,292
Base Armor6,9864,2425,550
Combat Speed131114
Turn Speed121312
Evade10%10%30%
Ballistic Defense40%40%40%
Explosive Defense40%30%50%
Penetrative Defense40%40%30%
Concussive Defense0%0%0%
Radioactive Defense50%30%40%
Tac Field Resist50%0%50%
Stun/Slow Resist70%0%25%
Turret Defense30%0%0%
Splash Bonus40%0%60%
Rocket Reload Bonus0%0%140%
Thrower Damage Bonus40%0%0%
Building Damage Bonus100%85%100%
Projectile Speed30%0%0%
Repair Modifier150%150%150%
Berserker Effect10% Defense / 20% Spd&Thrower Dmg40%0%
Hull Build Time w/off12d13h7m10d9h56m6d15h58m

(EDIT: these stats got tweaked a bit on the Tuesday update - I also added the splash comparison)

The Hellhound has the same slot configuration as a Berserker, but with a smaller max weight. A 4 hull fleet is needed to come close to the max Dock 11 weight.  It is fast, has high resistances, and has built in boosts for Turret Defense, Building Damage, and Projectile speed.  (almost like a built-in Siege Battery and Combustion System).  Its high value of slow resist may help it against the Wendigo ice fields that are currently giving many players fits.  It has a overload effect when taking damage like a Berserker, but the defense and speed bonuses lower.  From the Tips and Tricks thread, it seems that each ship in the fleet can give a stacking 10% bonus, so this could build quickly if the fleet takes splash or shockwave damage.  It also seems that if you get 4 ships to generate the overload simultaneously, they will ignore all slow, pinch, and hostile tactical fields.

Overall, this hull looks very powerful.  Loaded with Magma Throwers this should be a successful blitz fleet (see Building/Wall damage bonus combined with Thrower damage bonus), or it could be loaded with Chaos Mortars and still take advantage of the enhanced projectile speed.  The drawback is the build time - at 50 days to build 4 empty hulls, a Hellhound fleet will be a significant commitment of time and/or gold.  Although this hull certainly looks tough, and may very well be the new "overpowered best hull in the game", consider your willingness to commit to the long build before going after it.

Magma Thrower:
In the Reaver targets in the last raid, we may have seen a preview of this weapon - working at short range and creating a pool of fire.  From the statistics published, I'm observing the following:
  • This is a radioactive weapon type, but called a thrower, not a launcher.  This seems to be a new class of weapon that does radioactive damage similar to a launcher.  I expect that the only specials that will affect this weapon are the specials that affect radioactive weapons (Countermeasure Loaders, and ... nothing else comes to mind).  We will have to wait and see if radioactive reload bonuses related to hulls affect this weapon.
  • There is an accuracy stat (100%) and also spread/splash statistics (Spread = 20, Splash =6 to 24).  Using the Spread / (3/8 Splash) statistic as an accuracy equivalent puts it over 100% - I used 100% as accuracy for DPS calculations.  It looks like the splash value will build over the course of the salvo.
  • It will operate like the other Reaver weapons - with a long burst of salvo fire followed by a relatively long reload time.
  • Walls block Thrower projectiles (until destroyed).
  • Similar to Inferno Rockets, ships hit by this weapon will explode in a fire pool upon being sunk.
  • With the range & weight of this weapon, I compared it to some of the smaller ballistics and torrent missiles.
Magma ThrowerBypass Chaingun 1 w/HB3Chaingun 1
w/HB3
Assault Cannon X w/HB3Torrent Missile 3 w/SFB3Inferno RocketChaos Mortar
Max Range68.075.070.567.580.659.082.0
Damage2,41415721,572150764180616
Bldg Damage4,82815721,572225764251800
Bonus Damage078655037267451447
Salvo25303021613
Reload Time8.07.512.01.512.50.757.0
Accuracy100%70%70%100%90%80%34%
Weight +Special (Shipyard 2)3204743173202221,4421,300
Bonus Armor000004001000
Fleet DPS188.6124.183.4110.059.9240.094.6
Fleet DPS/hton58.926.226.334.427.016.67.3
Building DPS377.2177.3119.2154.166.5394.7303.6
Building DPS/hton117.937.437.648.230.027.423.4
Build Time (w Off)20h 56m7h 4m6h 33m20h 50m5h 54m2d 18h 49m1d 11h 38m
OtherFire Field, Explosion on Kill25% Ballistic Bypass0%0%0%5% C/X/M defense5% rad defense
(CHART IS UPDATED - Stat changes are highlighted)
  • DPS of the Magma Thrower is large compared to other similar sized weapons.
  • DPS of the Magma Thrower is similar to the Inferno Rocket & Chaos Mortar... but it is much lighter & quicker to build.  It may fall behind as it ranks up because of its high salvo. 
  • Build time is very short compared to other weapons of this size - this looks like a "good value" weapon to build.Build time is similar to the Assault Cannon X, ballistic fleets can take a long time to build because the weapons are relatively light, but still can take a long time to build.  This thrower looks to continue that trend.
  • No special is needed to get range similar to, and damage greater than ballistic weapons Range is similar to other ballistic weapons - Chainguns can get longer range(Bypass Chainguns can be longer range on hulls with 20% range bonus).
  • Drones are going to be in trouble.
  • As a weapon with spread and splash - it may be possible that this weapon will be less effective against moving targets.
Although the Magma Thrower may be a bit light to just fill a boat with them and be done with it, it certainly has a lot of damage-dealing potential.  Because of its short range, I think the best hulls to carry it will be fast hulls - Stingray and Sawfish with their base speed of 16, or Mercury R8 and Interceptors with a base combat speed of 15 and some hybrid weapon slots for speed-boosting torpedos could be good carriers.  If really looking to boost speed, I could see the Reaver Scout Engine being used with Thrower-armed ships - closing to a range of 40 32 seems doable with the 130% speed boost.  Of course the new Hellhound looks as if it was designed to be a thrower platform. 

This weapon looks both very powerfuland very reasonable to build.  It feels like when launchers were first released.  When we first saw the D92-U launcher, and compared it to missiles, we saw a lot of damage, similar range, and no special required.  Missiles quickly became obsolete in comparison to launchers until we saw the Siege Missile Z.  I think when comparing this first thrower weapon to ballistics, I feel the same way, except ballistics have been obsolete for a while.  We may see a comeback of ballistic style fleets in FvF...
For you SAT types:  Launchers : Missiles :: Throwers : Ballistics

We'll have to keep our eyes on this class of weapons because it has a lot of potential.

The other weapons that I think are the best value for the build time are the Siege Missile Z and the Cryo Launcher D104-N.  This weapon may join them, and right now I would put this in the "want very much" category.

(yes I reduced it from "want very much" to just "want" because of the build time)

Overall
With a new category of weapons, and a powerful new Reaver hull, Kixeye doesn't seem to be slowing down the torrent of new content.  

Magma Throwers look very strong, and I think players that pass up this weapon will regret it.  Hellhounds look strong too, but consider what you are looking to build before stretching to get that hull.  With the long hull build time, but relatively quick weapon build time, a Hellhound ship loaded with Magma Throwers will still likely be in the 25 30+ day build range... meaning a fleet of four would take around 100 days over 4 months of shipyard time.  Remember this info is all based on preliminary data, so it is subject to change. (and possibly change again) I'll keep looking for new info coming our way, and will post a raid preview before Hellgate starts.